Wednesday, February 06, 2013


In retrospect: On Growth and Form

"First published in 1917, with the modern synthesis of neo-Darwinian biology two or three decades away and genes still a nascent concept, On Growth and Form looked in some ways archaic by the time the second edition appeared — yet it continues to inspire. Thompson's agenda is captured in the book's epigraph from statistician Karl Pearson [...]: 'I believe the day must come when the biologist will — without being a mathematician — not hesitate to use mathematical analysis when he requires it.' Thompson presents mathematical principles as a shaping agency that may supersede natural selection, showing how the structures of the living world often echo those in inorganic nature." Full review @ Nature


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